United States managed a four set win over Romania on day three of the 2021 Girls’ U18 World Championship in Durango, Mexico, while Serbia had no difficulties to outclass Canada at Fenadu Venue.
United States and Serbia claim third victories
Defending champion USA and Serbia remain undefeated in Pool C and Pool A respectively
Published 04:44, 23 Sep 2021
All the dots connected with every element for defending champion United States in the first two sets, but Romania recovered well in the third set when they finally found their rhythm taking the lead for the first time in the match. With determination, the U.S. had no complications in gaining back control and finishing the match with comfortable advantages in every skill, attacks (46-35), blocks (11-9) and in serves (8-6).
Four American players scored double-digits, led by middle blocker Margaret Mendelson with a match-high of 17 points on ten kills, four blocks and three aces. Outside hitters Harper Murray contributed with 12 points all on kills and Devin Kahahawai added 11 points; middle blocker and captain Allick Rabekah contributed with ten tallies.
Top scorers for Romania were outside hitter Teodora Elena Iancu with 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace, and opposite hitter Denis Stefania Cheluta with 13 points on three blocks and aces.
“All the elements worked well in the beginning and the end. Romania played better in the set we lost, their serve-receive picked up and that made the match even, I believe on our side we got sloppy and we lost energy because of it” said Jamie Morrison, Head Coach of United States.
United States will face NORCECA rival Puerto Rico on Thursday and Romania will play against Thailand.
In Pool A, Serbia edged Canada controlling the match from start to finish. The Europeans jumped to an overwhelming lead with powerful offense over the net in the first two sets, shutting down any opportunity for Canada. In set three, Canada had momentum keeping the score close early in the set and evening to point 11; still Serbia did not lose their pace to earn their second win and remain undefeated.
Serbia scored on twenty-five opponent errors with a huge 28-23 margin to defeat Canada; they were held a seven-three advantage in serves and both teams scored on five blocks. Opposite hitter Jovana Zelenovic led Serbia with 13 points on 9 kills, 3 blocks and one ace, alongside middle blocker Hena Kurtagic and outside hitter Ksenija Tomic with 12 and 10 points accordingly.
Serbian Head coach Jovo Caković said his team will get better and better with every match and is looking forward on facing host Mexico, their next opponent, “we are excited to perform in a great atmosphere here at Fenadu venue against Mexico”.
Serbia has the day off on Thursday in Pool A, while host Mexico is scheduled to face Poland.
Cameroon and Nigeria had been due to participate in the event; however, were unable to arrange their visas for Mexico in time and so forfeited their matches. (Nigeria v Puerto Rico in pool C and Poland v Cameroon in pool A).